Cruise Saudi, a leading player in Saudi tourism, has just announced the launch of AROYA Cruises, its very own Public Investment Fund-owned cruise line. The new cruise line aims to carry 1.3 passengers by 2035, and further details are set to be released.
AROYA Cruises: Focusing on Arabian-Themed Cruise Experiences
AROYA Cruises is a brand new cruise line launched by Cruise Saudi, which is a ground-breaking actor in the Saudi tourist space, and owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), a sovereign wealth fund.
The new cruise line will focus on providing Saudi citizens, foreign residents, and visitors from nearby regions with the chance to discover some of the marvels in and around Saudi Arabia, as taken in through sea voyages.
“This momentous step marks a historical milestone in Cruise Saudi’s ambitious strategy to create a premium cruise ecosystem in Saudi, in line with Vision 2030,” the CEO of Cruise Saudi Lars Clasen, remarked.
Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 is a governmental push to diversify the country’s economy while reducing its reliance on oil revenue at the same time.
“AROYA Cruises will be operating as an autonomous brand within the Cruise Saudi portfolio, aiming to provide experiences and services specifically designed to embrace Arabian preferences,” Clasen also added.
In 2022, Clasen assumed the position of CEO at Cruise Saudi. He previously served as the Managing Director of The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection, Co-founder and Managing Director of Dolce Cruise Management, CEO of A-ROSA River Cruises, and President of AIDA Cruises.
Cruise Saudi, a Jeddah-based enterprise, owned in full by the Public Investment Fund, was established in 2021 to spearhead the growth of Saudi Arabia’s cruise industry.
The company oversees vital port development and operations in strategic Saudi destinations, while also expanding cruise services, marketing, Shorex (shore excursion) coordination for cruise ship passengers, and vessel operations.
Port Jeddah is the main seaport for the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and will act as AROYA Cruises’ homeport.
An Arabian Cruising “Dream”
The name “AROYA” comes from a mixture of the word “Arabian” with “roya,” with the latter meaning “dream” or “vision” in Arabic, emphasizing the idea or aspiration that someone—or perhaps a company—might hope to achieve or fulfill.
AROYA Cruises will emphasize Saudi Arabia’s rich cultural legacy, stunning landscapes, and hospitality, to offer its guests captivating voyages that embody its core principles of “inspiration, enrichment, generosity, and respect.”
This new regional cruise line will operate as an independent entity under the Cruise Saudi umbrella. AROYA Cruises will prioritize providing customized experiences and services catering to the specific preferences of the Arabian market.
The day-to-day operations of AROYA will be supervised by Ghassan Khan, the Chief Strategy Officer at Cruise Saudi. Educated in the United States, Khan adds more than 23 years of professional banking, consulting, and entertainment experience to the company’s management portfolio.
“This is an extremely exciting time. It is a privilege to bring this cruise line to launch as a core element of Saudi’s development as an international cruising destination,” Khan said.
Cruise Saudi aims to target approximately 1.3 million cruise visitors annually by 2035, creating approximately 50,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities.
The development of different cruise itineraries and travel packages for AROYA Cruises is currently underway. More details will be unveiled during the upcoming commercial launch for the line, which should occur in the following months.